Humans are habitual creatures. We often find a routine we enjoy and stick to that routine for months. This allows us to move and work efficiently. We’re able to get through our day without expending too much energy on things we don’t find important.
Unfortunately, these routines don’t come without their own pitfalls. When we do the same things repeatedly, we tend to start missing small, yet important, moments during our day. We don’t realize it, but we’ve conditioned ourselves to avoid being present. We’re slowly dulling the vibrant experience of life. In other words, we usually do just enough to get from one day to the next.
We Cannot Be Perfect
We’re never going to be perfectly present during every moment of our day. Even the select people with razor-like focus lose their sense of presence now and then.
There will always be those moments that seem unimportant compared to the rest of our day, and during this time it’s highly likely that we’ll shift our focus to something more pressing than what we’re currently doing.
We’re always filling in the quiet periods with our own thoughts and expectations. It’s unrealistic and counterproductive to expect ourselves to be perfect, but there are ways to improve our ability to be present.
For some people, meditation is their go-to practice. Others focus on flow states by picking tasks that challenge them and force them to concentrate. Another method is trying to hang out with present-minded people that hold us accountable. These can all be very productive endeavors that are worth giving a try.
One practice that I’ve developed for my own enjoyment and focus is something I call “Finding the Beauty”.
I’m a firm believer that anything can be beautiful if you look at it in the right way. Even the most damaged objects are unique in ways that no other object can replicate. The problem is we get used to overlooking the amazing pieces of life around us each day.
Finding Beauty is a very simple process. Wherever you are, try to see the things around you in a new way. If there is a beautiful park on your way to work, take a moment to fully appreciate it. If you’re on the subway into work, take a moment to acknowledge the different people around you.
If you’re leaving the office, find one thing that’s cool or inspiring. Maybe you want to examine the vast architecture of your city. Or, maybe you could take a few seconds to appreciate the small intricacies that allow you to use the pen in your hand. Either way, there is an opportunity to really savor the objects and people in your life.
Beauty is Everywhere
Once you start looking for beauty, I think you’ll find there is a lot more of it than you first thought. I still find new things every day to appreciate. I have to remind myself how amazing it is that we created things as commonplace as electricity and lightbulbs. This simple act of searching for beauty has helped reduce the number of things I take for granted.
Your Definition of Beauty Might Change
As you take the time to really see and contemplate the things in your surroundings, you might realize that your definition of beauty begins to change. Maybe you thought your house was falling apart, but now you’ve started to recognize some of its charming aspects. You used to think the workplace always felt dark and dreary, but now you’re starting to see it’s actually pretty lively and colorful.
You Begin to Enjoy things More
When we can truly appreciate things for what they are, we’re able to enjoy them more. It’s really hard to enjoy something when we’re constantly focused on them. This simple shift to looking for bright spots might lead to a realization that we like something as it is. Sometimes, we get so focused on the imperfections of an object that we forget how wonderful its other qualities are.
Being Present with Our Perspectives
The only requirement for recognizing the beauty around us is paying attention to the thoughts and emotions we’re using to look at the present moment. If we’re in a state of anger, we’re probably going to see things in a way that brings us more anger. However, we have the power to make a shift. All it takes is the search for one beautiful thing. That one beautiful thing might be the reminder you need to be present for our wonderful universe and all its precious moments.